Monday, January 9, 2006

"The purpose… is not to encourage sexual activity among teens"

So says a spokesperson for the California Family Health Council, Inc today in a release announcing a new campaign to make teens aware of the easy accessibility of contraception and abortion services in their areas, most notably emergency contraception. This campaign launched today.

The group is airing 30-second video spots on major cable channels such as MTV, Spike and Comedy Central, especially late at night across California. The spots feature sob stories of teen sexual behavior and how the "threat" of pregnancy would be the worst outcome of their irresponsibility. It is most notable that sexually transmitted diseases are not prevented by the use of emergency contraception, but the dangerous pill regime only decreases the instance of achieving pregnancy. This message seems quite inconsistent, especially since these contraception centers and programs also focus on helping teens receive treatment for sexually transmitted disease.

With this inconsistent and dangerous message to give to teens, the campaign features a website, TeenSource.org, where teens can view movies, find a contraception center or program in their area, link with other teens who will "mentor" them, learn false information about human sexuality, and more. Clearly those who have formed this program do not have the best interest of teens, their families or society in mind as they launch a program whereby parents are never informed of their teen's behavior or health.

Ron Frezieres is the director of research for the California Family Health Council, and it is his quote that appears above. He goes on to say "the bottom line is that today many young people are sexually active, and while we would hope that they have taken steps to prevent unplanned pregnancy, the reality is that accidents happen, and Emergency Contraceptives offer a safe and effective method of contraception for those who need it."

In reality, the program states that they will "encourage obtaining EC pills ahead of time." This in no way will prevent teen sexual behavior, but only feed it. The desire to submit to raging teen hormones and passions will only be greater now that teens know the most dreaded of side effects, the natural and right outcome of sexual relations, will be less of a "threat."

These new efforts to push the availability of EC also serve a political purpose as the FDA continues to debate whether to grant over-the-counter status to the drug. It's not surprising that a "poll" on the website asks teens "Should Emergency Contraception be made available over the counter?"

It is also not surprising that groups such as Planned Parenthood are quick to join the campaign. One of the featured groups on the website has a six-minute movie on the new "T-ROC" program they have formed. This program, as with all of the programs, uses teens themselves to educate other teens on birth control, sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases. "They are very committed to what they do because they care about other people their age," the website insists. "They believe that teens and young adults have the right to have free, confidential, quality health services… [in a] non-judgmental… [and] comfortable environment."

If, as Frezieres insists, that the point of the clinic is not to encourage teen sexual behavior, then why is the slogan of the T-ROC center, "Got condoms?"

2 comments:

  1. I think you are right.

    It is a shame that some organizations try to spread irresponsible behavior among youngsters.

    It would be interesting to inquire such organization's understanding of the words accident and killing...

    ReplyDelete
  2. interesting thought... there seems to be some dramatic disconnect between their philosophy and reality, huh?

    ReplyDelete